Rami’s Rhapsody

Malek Embodies Freddie Mercury in New Biopic

BY: Claire Connors

The story of Freddie Mercury, lead singer/songwriter for the British Rock band, Queen, has been ripe for a biopic ever since he passed away in 1991 of complications from AIDS. An insanely talented musician, Mercury formed Queen in 1970, producing hit songs like “Killer Queen,” “We Are the Champions,” and the band’s hugely successful six-minute suite, “Bohemian Rhapsody” from their 1975 album, A Night At the Opera. Incorporating different genres of music from prog rock to heavy metal to opera, the foot-stomper was also featured in the 1992 comedy, Wayne’s World. The single shot up the charts, again, to the number 2 position, winning Queen newer, hipper fans…sadly, just a year after Mercury’s death.

27 years later we finally get to see the movie we’ve been waiting for: Bohemian Rhapsody. Playing Mercury is Rami Malek, best known for his role in USA Network’s, Mr. Robot. The Egyptian-American actor couldn’t be a better fit for the role of the African-born Mercury. While there is certainly a resemblance to Mercury, one of the biggest challenges Malek had to overcome was speaking dialogue while wearing the prosthetic teeth used to create Mercury’s legendary overbite. “He had a real insecurity about that,” Malek told Rolling Stone. “If you watch an interview with him, you see how often he’s trying to cover up his teeth with his lips or his hand.” The other challenge for Malek was Mercury’s incredible voice, which could range from a beautiful baritone to a perfect contralto. Almost impossible to recreate, the producers decided to use Mercury’s voice for the songs throughout the film.

The movie follows the young Mercury’s rise to stardom, his close relationships with his band, his wild, sexual adventures with both men and women, and his love for drugs and alcohol. After an unsuccessful attempt at a solo career, and the grim diagnosis that he had HIV, Mercury returned to Queen for their greatest performance at the 1985 Live Aid concert. That triumphant return is still considered the best performance by a rock band, ever. Long live Queen.

Bohemian Rhapsody opens on November 2nd.